Intelligent Ways to Battle Against Online Travel Agencies and Market Your Hotel Effectively | Hotel Marketing
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Intelligent Ways to Battle Against Online Travel Agencies and Market Your Hotel Effectively
The introduction of Online Travel Agents (OTA) in the hospitality market has its advantages and disadvantages. One of the pros is that hotels have widened their reach and increased their bookings. A big con is that while OTAs can generate more bookings, they also charge hefty commissions, which take a sizeable part of the hotel’s profits. Also, OTAs have become everyone’s go-to place when making hotel reservations, consequently decreasing direct bookings through the hotels’ websites. OTAs have become very popular that they have dominated the market and made most hoteliers dependent on them, which means fewer profits for the hotels.
So, what can you do to shift the situation and bring more clients directly to your website? Here are seven ways you can do better against OTAs:
1. Auction Insights
Auction insights reports make it possible to get performance comparisons between advertisers taking part in the same auction. This method lets you see who you are competing against. Therefore, it is always best to get two reports: One for specific hotel names and another for a broader term search. This way, it is determined which OTAs can be considered your competition.
2. Small but effective steps
You can be aggressive in getting around OTAs by focusing your ads or site links to create direct traffic to your website. Make your ads as attractive and as engaging as possible, always with hot links to your website.
3. Use available customer information
First, make sure that you have permission to use customer data and follow the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Then, make the most of Facebook Ads manager. Your data from Facebook, together with insights from Analytics and Adwords, gives you some valuable information.
Connecting with customers you’ve previously transacted with can help you determine who the previous visitors are and who are first-timers. This lets you modify and fine-tune your bids, publish different ad copies and exclude certain groups from your target audience.
In cases of abandoned transactions, you can reach out and proactively suggest hard-to-resist offers like waived booking fees, money-back guarantees, free cancellations, or any other exciting deals that are not available to everyone all the time. If someone recently booked a special event like a birthday staycation, or an anniversary dinner accommodation, add them to your marketing list. Tailor your ads so that they get targeted 12 months later, where the event is most likely to be celebrated
Your brand should be prominently visible. Potential clients need to see and know more about you. One way to make this happen is by using social media advertising such as Facebook and Instagram Ads. Facebook and Instagram use highly interactive formats that users find eye-catching and immersive, making it easy for them to take action.
4. Bid on your hotel name brand
Why should you still bid on your brand if customers are already searching for you online? OTAs have million-dollar advertising budgets that if people search for specific hotel names, OTA ads are virtually guaranteed to come up first on the search result. So instead of transacting directly through the hotel website, the customer is diverted to OTAs, which does not give optimum profits.
Bidding on your name brand is most effective in protecting yourself against other advertisers bidding on your hotel name. This extra step also makes it possible for you to have more control over your brand’s image and message.
5. Emphasize your USPS
Make the most of your ad space by including ad extensions. Ad extensions provide small but helpful details that can draw customers in and increase your click-through rates.
• Site links- For site links to be effective, you need to make sure that the landing page associated with your ad goes to the correct pages on your website. Otherwise, you might not get the desired conversion.
• Callout extensions- Callout extensions are the additional lines of text below your main ad that shows essential information related to the customer’s search. For site link extensions to work successfully, ensure that the callout added matches the customer’s intention for the search. If not, it can be a possible source of confusion and frustration...